The Effects of Nicotine on Males

It is commonly known that smoking is an unhealthy habit for men and women. Men are particularly affected with direct effects that relate to overall body health and hormonal balance. Nicotine can have a significantly negative effect on a man's endurance, fitness and performance levels. Smoking cigarettes, for instance, leads to weight loss as it kills healthy cells in the body, and lowers levels of testosterone in men. Even when a man is physically active, smoking limits his ability to perform at certain levels. On average, the heart of a man who smokes beats faster than that of a non-smoker, causing other health and fitness issues to arise.

Difficulty Building Muscle

During strength and endurance training, body builders need oxygen in the blood, body weight and normal testosterone levels to put on and maintain muscle mass. Muscles crave oxygen, while nicotine reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood. Smoking affects the cells that produce testosterone, thus lowering the necessary levels. High levels or normal levels of testosterone are also essential to muscle building. According to BodyBuilding.com, diet can affect the ability of nicotine to alter body weight regulation, and chronic nicotine exposure results in adaptive changes in molecules that regulate eating habits and energy metabolism.

Heart Disease

There are more than 4,800 chemicals in tobacco smoke that can make the heart vulnerable. Nicotine in cigarette smoke causes the heart to overexert by narrowing the blood vessels, bringing up blood pressure levels and the heart rate. This can lead to atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, and ultimately a heart attack. Further, heart disease is known to be more prevalent in men than in women. Even social smoking, which men may find a casual activity among friends, increases the risk of heart disease. According to MayoClinic.com, tobacco that is smokeless, with little nicotine or low tar, is as risky to heart health as secondhand smoke; no amount is considered safe.

Impotence

Impotence, also known as erectile dysfunction, is characterized by a man's inability to achieve or maintain an erection. If he's a cigarette smoker, nicotine may be the culprit since it acts as a vasoconstrictor, which means it causes blood vessels to become narrower and reduces blood flow. This constriction is sometimes to blame for a man's reduced sexual arousal. Furthermore, erectile dysfunction resulting from smoking can be difficult to treat when caused by damage to blood vessels. According to Dr.Mirkin.com, arteriosclerosis is the most common cause of impotence in North America. Doctor Mirkin also states that a review of 20 years of studies found that smoking tobacco causes impotence, which was concluded in a report from University of California at Irvine.

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